Female gout patients at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe sequelae
Despite being vaccinated against COVID-19, women with gout have an excess risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as severe sequelae from it, according to a study.
The study used data from the Health Improvement Network and included individuals with gout and those without gout from the general population. These participants were followed to record and evaluate the incidence of hospitalization and death over 30 days after SARS-CoV-2 infection in relation to the presence of gout and COVID-19 vaccination status.
The vaccinated cohort comprised 54,576 gout patients and 1,336,377 individuals without gout from the general population, while the unvaccinated cohort included 61,111 gout patients and 1,697,168 general population controls. Patients with gout were more likely to be older, male, have more comorbidities, frequently use medications, and visit their physicians than the general population. Exposure score overlap weighting balanced out the baseline characteristics between the two comparison groups.
In the vaccinated cohort, 1,955 cases of breakthrough infection were documented among 54,576 gout patients and 52,468 cases among 1,336,377 controls (4.68 vs 3.76 per 1,000 person-months). The adjusted rate difference of breakthrough infection was 0.91 per 1,000 person-months, while the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 1.24 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.19–1.30).
Furthermore, gout patients had increased risks of hospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.30, 95 percent CI, 1.10–1.53) and death (adjusted HR, 1.36, 95 percent CI, 0.87–2.13). Both risks were more pronounced in female patients (adjusted HR, 1.55, 95 percent CI, 1.15–2.10 and adjusted HR, 2.46, 95 percent CI, 1.12–5.41, respectively).
Results were consistent in the unvaccinated cohort.